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Homework Help: Polarized light

  1. Jan 11, 2010 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data

    A single photon is produced in an unknown polarization state. Suppose it were possible to copy (clone) this photon without knowing its state. (actually perfect cloning is impossible)
    By cloning you could produce a large number of identical photons.
    If you could clone the photon would it be possible to determine the state of the original photon?
    If so, how? If not, explain.

    2. Relevant equations

    3. The attempt at a solution

    By sending a large number of identical photons through the polaroid you could determine the probability of a photon passing through, which is the magnitude squared of the amplitude, which is the inner product of the polarization state of the photon and the transmission axis of the polaroid sheet.

    I am confused if the answer is yes or no because isn't there more than one possible polarization state that will have the same amplitude after passing through the sheet?
  2. jcsd
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